On 27 June 1963, Kennedy’s first full day in Ireland on his state visit, he boarded a helicopter to fly to New Ross. Four jet-propelled helicopters had been brought in from US military bases in Europe for the Kennedy visit, as well as six smaller ones.
|Crowds swamping the Kennedy helicopter in Dunganstown|
27 June 1963
After New Ross, Kennedy and his two sisters were taken to Dunganstown to visit his Ryan relatives at the Kennedy homestead. Kennedy had visited the house before when he was in Ireland previously, but he was bringing a much bigger entourage with him this time. The photos of him having tea with his aunt, Mary, were beamed around the world. As well as Mary, Kennedy and his sisters met their cousins Mary-Anne and Josephine, as well as other members of the extended family.
|Mary Ryan greeting her American cousins|
27 June 1963
There were several presents waiting for the Kennedys at Dunganstown: Belleck china for Jackie, a handkerchief for Caroline and a toy boat for John. There was also a blackthorn walking stick for Jack that had been cut from the bushes on Kennedy land.
A cake had been prepared for the tea-party with a likeness of Kennedy in the icing. Kennedy told the crowd: “We want to drink a cup of tea to all the Kennedys who went and all the Kennedys who stayed.”
If you’d like to find out more details about the Kennedy visit, or see more images from his time in Wexford, why not check out our digital book, President John F. Kennedy Visits Ireland in 1963. It is available from the iTunes Store for €9.99, or can be gifted to somebody else you may know with an interest in the Kennedy family.